If Floyd’s tea party would stick to facts they might have a legitimate role in public debate.

But like their counterparts nationwide, the tea party here too often deals with hyperbole, muddying their message with conspiracy theories and disinformation.

Some of their spokesmen equate updates to Floyd County’s comprehensive plan as part of a perceived United Nations plot to turn this area — and the United States — into some sort of socialist, communal society.

They claim the New River Valley — and Floyd County — are coming under the spell of the UN’s “Agenda 21” and issue dire warnings of the consequences.

Claims one local blogger and tea party activist:

You may think that there is no way the UN will have an effect on your lifestyle, but the plans to that effect have already been approved by many Virginia municipalities.  There is a movement in the New River Valley that threatens not only your property rights, but your way of life.  Efforts by government and UN agencies operating under the umbrella of Agenda 21 are being stepped up to reach implementation goals which involve regionalizing water resources, new ordinances,  and massive rezoning based primarily on generally discredited Global Warming scenarios.

What’s next? Black helicopters on the ridges and concentration camps in Indian Valley?

The comprehensive plan is nothing more than an attempt to bring some order to the chaos of Floyd County’s unbridled growth. It examines community needs and balances those needs against the rights of property owners. You can read the plan at this link. It is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of good people who do not deserve the innuendo and propaganda that is being spread.

The tea party is a phony grassroots movement that is itself a sham — a carefully-conceived, consultant-driven program funded by right-wing billionaires who want to impose a repressive agenda on everyone else.

They recruit those who fear change. They use misinformation, propaganda and manufactured “facts” to support their cause.

Recently, the group brought in Alabama’s Don Casey, a right-wing “citizen’s rights” advocate.He’s been all over the Old Dominion whipping the tea party faithful into a conspiracy-dazed frenzy.

On Tuesday night, the tea party will try to pack the county planning commission meeting to try and stop a long-needed upgrade to the county’s comprehensive plan.

In today’s surreal political environment anything can — and most likely will  — happen.

(Updated on July 18)

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Virginia State Code has long required localities have a Comprehensive Plan. Tied in to transportation (new road construction and maintaining existing infrastructure) funded by the state and federal government, the General Assembly in 2007 made a change requiring updates to Comprehensive Plans which would go into effect by July 1, 2011.

    This change would define Urban Development Areas (UDAs) in high growth areas. Effectively implemented, it could reduce or slow sprawl which creates a demand for higher taxes (maintaining new roads and water/sewer lines extended to outlying commercial or residential development, supporting new services such as fire/rescue or schools demanded by those who occupy the new development).

    Tying it to the United Nations or global warming is leaping a chasm. Tying it to reducing demands on existing tax revenues is a baby step.

    Proactive municipalities got to work on adding UDA componenent to the already required Comprehensive Plans. Others waited for the recent US Census which determined whether they were/were not “high growth” areas and are lining their ducks up now to get in compliance and therefore protect existing state and federal revenue allocations (in as much as these remain funded).

    A good overview of what and why Comprehensive Plans are being revised may be found at the Town of Blacksburg’s web site (they also identified and received a grant to offset related expenses and lessen tax impact to their residents). See http://www.blacksburg.va.us/Index.aspx?page=1514

  2. Doug, thank you so much for your untiring efforts to keep these people at bay. They must be exposed for they pose a real and present danger to our community.

  3. The tea party is best exemplified by Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor: A spoiled little brat who puts his own petty interests ahead of the nation. He is like a little boy who says “I will hold my breath until I get my way.”

  4. Doug, You are a typical progressive liberal speaking about something you know nothing about and that is the Tea Party Members, and you spew out hatred without backing up any of it with facts.
    The Tea Party folks are ordinary people (your neighbors) who are alarmed at the increasing lost of their freedoms and the increasing interference of government in their everyday lives. This “sustainable development” is just more government control. We cease to exist as a free people and nation when government worms its way into every aspect of out daily lives…and we are getting very close!
    Read the following article as I could not say it better myself.

    HENRY LAMB Henry Lamb What could be bad about ‘sustainability’?
    Posted: July 09, 2011
    1:00 am Eastern

    To ordinary people, the word sustainable is an adjective that means the activity the word describes can continue forever. For example, since biblical days, farmers practiced sustainable agriculture by leaving their fields fallow every seventh year. In early America, farmers knew that for agriculture to be sustainable, the same crop could not be planted in the same field year after year. Sustainable agriculture has always been practiced by successful farmers. Farmers who didn’t practice sustainable agriculture inevitably failed.

    The United Nations has given the word sustainable a new definition. Introduced to the world in “Our Common Future,” the report of the 1987 U.N. Commission on Environment and Development, and further defined in the U.N.’s “Agenda 21” at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, the term “sustainable” was married to the term “development,” and a brand new concept entered the world. The term “sustainable development” means any activity that has economic impact, and is equitable, and has no negative environmental impact. All three elements are required to qualify as “sustainable development.”

    There can be no development without economic impact, of course; nothing new here. “Equitable,” however, is a new requirement. Equitable means social justice, which means, as a beginning point, equal benefit from the earth’s resources. Progressives have expanded the definition to include such things as a right to housing, health care and a livable wage, but at the very least, equitable means redistribution of wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not. To meet this requirement of sustainable development, government must empower agents to take wealth from one segment of the population and give it to others.

    To be sustainable, according to the U.N. definition, development must have no negative environmental impact. This requirement demands a monitor of development activity and a judgment made to determine whether the activity results in a negative environmental impact. This monitor and judge is necessarily some entity empowered by government. Development that fails to meet these requirements is, by definition, not sustainable. Development that meets these requirements is declared by government to be sustainable.

    Therefore, sustainable development is government-approved development.

    In the context of sustainable development, any activity government describes as sustainable must be a government-approved activity. Sustainable agriculture, despite the fact that agriculture has been practiced sustainably since biblical days, must now be government-approved to enjoy the sustainable label. Government has now applied the word sustainable to communities, which means that for a community to be sustainable it must be government-approved.

    Proponents of sustainable development, inside and outside the government, downplay this fundamental element of sustainable development. Instead, they tout the benefits to the environment of sustainable programs that promote recycling, renewable energy, conservation and the like. And an unknowing public drinks the progressive Kool-Aid.

    The term sustainable sounds quite reasonable to people who have no idea that the U.N., the federal government and most local governments have qualified and redefined the term to mean government-approved. In some cities and counties, when officials enter into an agreement with ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) to monitor carbon emissions, they have no idea that they are also agreeing to compliance with a much broader application of sustainable development policies. Elected officials in some local governments have no idea that the comprehensive plan presented by their planning commission is deeply rooted in the principles of sustainable development set forth in Agenda 21.

    All too often, businesses are shamed into taking a public stand in support of sustainable development. Advertisements boast “going green” and “sustainability” with little or no understanding that what they are promoting is ultimately government approval of their every campaign, program and activity.

    The requirement for government approval is the death of freedom. Put differently, freedom cannot exist where government approval is required. America is teetering on the brink of losing the freedom that made her a great nation. In pursuit of the deceitfully presented notion of sustainable development, America is unknowingly welcoming government to expand and impose its power to regulate virtually every human activity.

    Sustainable development as defined in Agenda 21, regardless of how it is repackaged and resold, must be rejected at every level of government.

    The purpose of government is not to redistribute wealth. The purpose of government is not to protect the environment. The purpose of government is to protect the inalienable rights of its citizens, and to defend those citizens from all enemies both foreign and domestic. When government fulfills this purpose, every person has an equal right to pursue personal happiness to the maximum extent of his abilities. No person is entitled to the wealth of another, regardless of Agenda 21 or any other U.N. declaration. Any person whose property or environment is damaged by another is entitled to recover those damages in court. This, too, is a legitimate function of government.

    Activity that is, and is not, sustainable should be determined by nature, not by government. Sustainability is just the latest disguise government is using to shroud its incessant quest to control its citizens.

    • No, the purpose of government is to express the collective will of the people. If you don’t know what “collective” means, look it up in the dictionary. The Comprehensive Plan is the result of a lot of work by good people who took the time to attend meetings all over the County to express their thoughts on the plan. Did you not get an invitation? I did, but was unable to attend. For you to hijack the process by calling Doug a “typical liberal progressive” and to spout off about sustainability just shows your ignorance.

    • My Daddy was a lifelong conservative Republican and he would roll over in his grave if anyone accused him of being a liberal. The viewpoints of Doug Thompson appear to be similar to my Father’s. I’m sorry Garland but I don’t think you even know what a progressive liberal is.

      Wouldn’t it be better if we all strived not to do the name calling and labeling game? It seems that this is something the corporate media encourages in order to keep people divided and working against their own best interests.

  5. Doug, I read your rants, your opinions and your vile terms in denigrating a group of average people as liars all, terrorists and the same hate speech which is so common throughout the Liberal/ Progressive talking heads. I have gone to some of the meetings, looked at and met some of the “folks” who attend. What I notice is that they are farmers, retirees, elderly widows- scary terrorist types, which is why the Government’s T.S.A. pros give them “special attention” at airports, train stations and bus depots- some of the older persons are retired here from N.J., N.C. and other foreign places and SHOULD NOT have a say in what is transpiring here in there new homes nor, in this Nation generally. When you resort to the distasteful name calling and the true level of personal anger rises to view, I have to wonder about what threat you might pose to those with a concern, outlook or different political view. In earlier rants/ posts/ hit pieces, I notice a level of anger that causes me to agree with a statement you made above, “sanity went on vacation a few years back” as I also have read that you 1.) are an alcoholic, 2.) are easily and often angry at people or groups 3.) that you like to carry a Glock handgun. Those traits are often the starting point of a terrorist. I have no worries about any of the plain folks I have talked with about their involvement in the Tea Party but an alcoholic with a Glock and anger issues; well that’s another matter.

  6. A thin skinned moderator when it comes to looking at yourself or being spoken harshly to & about. Go outside, set up some empties and work that ol’ 19 Doug. Pretend the cans and old whiskey bottles are your Tea Party type neighbors. You know, regular folks, but people with whom you VIOLENTLY disagree. Set ’em up & knock ’em back down Doug.
    Blue Ridge Amused.
    And am I correct when I see TL and it is Lance Terpenny?

  7. Mr. Garland’s post is a great example of what is wrong with political discourse in this country. You either agree with his assessment of the situation or you don’t know what you are talking about and are a liberal/progressive as well. Knowing about an issue and reaching a different conclusion simply isn’t possible I guess. While I don’t agree with Doug that boorish and intimidating behavior at local meetings is equivalent to terrorism (talk about hyperbole!), the Tea Party response when this has been brought up (that the people involved were acting as individuals-not as Tea Party officers) is an awfully weak defense of indefensible behavior. Robert’s Rules of Order should definitely be on the reading list at the next Tea Party meeting.

    The Lamb article has a black and white view of property rights. If his views were taken to their logical conclusion I would be able to mine uranium on my own property without government interference. The ONLY recourse opponents of this would have would be to go to court and prove damages. Of course you would be forced to pay your own legal fees to try and go against the top-notch lawyers I could afford with the cash I had made, but that’s your problem. If anything horrible happened I would quickly be bankrupt and taking me to court would be meaningless.

    I agree that there is a balance between government regulations and individual rights and that governments can and do overstep the boundaries on a far too regular basis. Fortunately for us the stories about this are usually in far-away places like California and New York. I think Floyd County has handled this balance between government regulations and individual property rights well. If those worried about the comprehensive plan can point to specific flaws with the actual plan I would love to hear them.

    • Will, most folks learned a long time that trying to use civility or facts with the tea party is useless so I tend to fight hyperbole with a little of my own. That aside, in my opinion, any movement that seeks to subvert the democratic process to further a myopic, narrow-focus agenda, is akin to political terrorism. 🙂

  8. Hi Will,

    I have no dog in the fight and don’t live in Floyd County. I was puzzled by that one graphic Doug posted showing some little cluster of housing instead of one home on the same sized parcel of land.

    This suggests to me some communal living which is not community living. My worst nightmare would be buying into such an arrangement where blue sky thinking says nobody will have a problem with the shared open spaces and living on top of each other out in the boonies is an improved version of country living.

    I also wonder about the higher density and how this lowers the demand on necessary resources. The most basic are water and sewage. Water for one family is not guarenteed county wide. Cross your fingers and poke a hole in the ground. Is there some plan for mini sewage treatment plant on each site?

    Without a conspiracy theory, this idea only creates more nonsense and grief in HOA politics. It’s also tilted toward money driven developers and less freedom in a more general sense. No tacky yard ornaments and a pamphlet showing what color you can paint your front door is part of the package.

    Good fences make good neighbors. Give me barking dogs, crowing roosters and bawling cows, smell and everything else instead of thin walls and screaming kids or a complaint that my music is too loud.

      • It’s straight up well water Doug. Perhaps I am mistaken but I don’t look at that many Floyd County sources of info and gossip.

        If I find it, I’ll let you know where.

      • Found it, and that was worth even more laughs.

        http://www.making-ripples.com/2011/07/the-floyd-county-comprehensive-plan-will-affect-your-property-rights-attend-the-july-19th-meeting.html

        I don’t read David very often since I determined he is an opportunist and a lousy moderator of his blog. He doesn’t meet his own standards. I’m sure he’s a fine fellow and a slick salesman.

        I certainly agree that everyone should read the plan, no matter how tedious. I clicked on the link you provided and discovered it would take forever to download even a small portion. Broadband is not a human right.

        What I can say it that this one example he presents is enough of a deal breaker in my mind that I would probably find many more prior to reading the 100s of pages.

        The hard work of the commission is appreciated and worthwhile. It also leads to a certain amount of smugness by those that spent months or longer on a grand plan. What happens is the same on the national level. Elephants should be eaten one bite at a time. It would be easier to stay on topic and make a decision about item A if that doesn’t mean agreeing to items xyz. But that’s not politics as we know it.

  9. I looked at the proposal and it looks pretty benign to me. Here is the summary of the plan copied and pasted. The full plan is here http://www.floydcova.org/compplan.shtml
    -Establishing a Farm and Forest Task Force to identify economic opportunities,
    prioritize and tap them.
    • Establishing a Land Policy Task Force to conduct requisite analysis and draft specific land policy documents.
    • Staff and the Economic Development Authority developing an Economic
    Development Strategic Plan to target best opportunities and coordinate efforts.
    • Developing a list of capital needs based on growth trends and life
    expectancy of current assets, to help manage timing of future expenditures.

  10. I am so weary of folks avoiding a dialogue and ignoring what someone else says by labeling them as the anti-Christ or a progressive/liberal. This does nothing to help us find viable solutions and this does nothing to promote a civil dialogue. I hope to see the creative talents of our community emerge and assist us in making out community a great place for all our citizens.

    Hopefully everyone will be respectful and kind to one another tonight; in my mind mutual respect within our community is a treasured hallmark of Floyd.

  11. As a resident of Floyd County, I have taken it upon myself to become more informed. Part of this process was finding your blog. I wanted to give you some unsolicited advice on your writing. Realizing that there are folks in our community who may not fit into your various labels and/or stereotypes.

    I came to your site to learn more about the pros and cons of the Comprehensive Plan being proposed. Other than a link to the plan, I wasn’t able to find information relating to the actual merits or concerns. I am sure you have many well thought out ideas regarding the plan. However, on the surface it appears you have chosen to use your time to grind the proverbial ax. I get the fact that you disagree with the so called tea party (whoever “they” are). i also understand you desire a civil discussion. Both of these points could have been addressed in a few sentences. Personally, I would have rather heard your views about the actual plan. Rather than a discourse on why certain people are conspiratorial, frenzied, hypocritical, and liars.

    There are citizens willing to listen to all sides of an issue. When it turns into personal attacks, your message is diluted down.

    • Bill, I included a link to the plan itself so readers can digest it and make up their own mind. What I think of the plan is not relevant. Readers should make up their own minds.

      My comments are never personal. I disagree with the tea party’s tactics and their obsession with conspiracy theories.

  12. Doug, Thanks for the response. I too abhor conspiracy theories. These types of debates seem to be perfect fertilizer for them. I would add that there is plenty of mistrust on both sides of the political divide. Neither ideology has a cornered the market on hyperbole, hypocrisy, or fear-mongering. I personally have given up on overcoming those tactics on a national level. In a small community like ours, it is my belief we can put those vices aside for the betterment of all. We must establish common ground and build on that. We don’t have the luxury of gridlock as practiced in DC. This is about my children and my neighbors. It is worth putting aside differences and working toward our common goals.

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